Hackers post W.Va. police officers' personal info

AP News
Posted: Feb 08, 2012 1:02 PM
Hackers post W.Va. police officers' personal info

Hackers affiliated with the group Anonymous obtained personal information for more than 150 police officers from an old website of the West Virginia Chiefs of Police Association and posted the data online.

The FBI is investigating, said William Roper, the association's president and the police chief of Ranson, W.Va., said.

"It's a shame that folks have to do this," Roper said Wednesday.

He said the hackers obtained the home addresses, home phone numbers and cellphone numbers of current and retired police chiefs from a website that has not been used in two years. The association has a new website but some information was still stored on the old one.

"I don't think they gained anything with this," said Roper, who was among the officers whose information was posted by the hackers. "They just obtained information that's already easy to get."

"My number's in the book. My cellphone is a department cellphone so it's readily easy to get" he said.

A group called CabinCr3W posted the information and included a link to it in a Twitter post on Sunday.

In an online message by CabinCr3w addressed to "citizens of West Virginia," the hacking group says it has been monitoring cases of police brutality.

"We are here to remind you that we the taxpayers pay your exorbitant salaries, and those salaries of your officers," the message says. "Your job is to protect and serve, not brutalize the very people that pay your wages. Muzzle your dogs of war, or we will expose more of your sensative (sic) information."

The state Office of Technology notified the association on Monday that the website had been compromised after it was alerted by the Multi-State Information & Analysis Center, which detected suspicious activity, said Kyle Schafer, the state's chief technology officer.

"Our folks took that call and went out and took a look, saw the information and knew that wasn't right," he said.

Roper said he notified the association's members and other law enforcement agencies. He has not received any reports of officers receiving harassing or crank phone calls since the information was posted.

Roper believes the hackers have too much time on their hands. If they are arrested, "we'll give them things to do to occupy themselves, incarceration if possible," he said.

The Charleston Gazette (http://bit.ly/zLZxrB) first reported the hacking.

Clarksburg, W.Va., Police Chief Marshall Goff and Charleston, W.Va., Police Chief Brent Webster were among those whose information was posted online. Both said Wednesday that they have been contacted by the FBI about the incident.

"Like any of the public out there, we are at times victims also," Goff said.

Goff said he does not believe the hacker group accomplished anything because his information is already publicly accessible.

"My number is published in the book because I feel that as an official figure I need to be accessible to the public," he said.

Webster said he was not overly concerned because he did not provide much information on the website.

"But I don't like it," he said.

CabinCr3w's Twitter page is laced with references to the hacking collective Anonymous.

Last week, Anonymous hit the web with a slew of hacks, including releasing a recording of a conference call between the FBI and Scotland Yard in which law enforcers discussed how to stop the hacking group.

Anonymous also claimed credit for defacing the Boston Police Department's website. And in Salt Lake City, officials said the personal information of confidential informants and tipsters had been compromised.

Roper said his association's old website will be taken down after the investigation is completed. The group's board of directors will discuss whether the current website needs additional security measures.


Information from: The Charleston Gazette, http://www.wvgazette.com